Takashi Saito To Be Traded?

Japanese Right-Hander Gaining Interest

The Boston Red Sox made it a point this past offseason to stockpile their pitching, and in particular, their bullpen.  With a plethora of arms in the starting rotation and bullpen, should Theo Epstein and the Red Sox pull the trigger on a trade that would send Takashi Saito out of Boston?

According to Chad Finn of the Boston Globe, Saito has gained interest from several teams throughout the league.  With Brad Penny on the trading block already, would it make sense for the Sox to trade a reliable reliever as well?

Only if it makes the team better.

Rumors have it that Saito has been linked to the Rangers in a deal that would send the Japanese right-hander to Texas for first basemen Hank Blalock.  With the 39-year-old relegated to backup closing duty and occasional setup man, the Sox don’t really need Saito. What the Red Sox may need is a bat off the bench or a corner infielder who can take some pressure off of the middle of the lineup.

Blalock, a 28-year-old, has spent his entire career at Texas battling injuries and inconsistency.  However, the switch-hitter can play both third and first base and possess a high slugging percentage.  Blalock is a career .273 hitter with 140 HRs.  If the Sox felt the need to add an extra bat, he would fit the profile especially if David Ortiz cannot snap out of his season-long slump.

Saito won’t be in Boston long as the right-hander is near retirement.  So a trade that would swap Saito with Blalock may not be only be of good interest for the Sox in the present, it may also help them down the road (like if Mike Lowell left after 2010 or Lars Anderson didn’t pan out).  

Boston may have a stockpile of pitching and the Sox obviously have some needs offensively and defensively.  So, maybe instead of trading away a streaking Brad Penny, Boston should look to a less important piece and part ways with Saito for the betterment of the present Red Sox and the future Red Sox.

What To Do, What To Do…

  What Are Boston’s Plans For John Smoltz?

In Major League Baseball, it is thought that pitching and defense wins championships. Hitting is just an added bonus.  So with John Smoltz set to return to the majors and most likely in the Red Sox starting rotation, is it safe to assume that Boston has too much starting pitching?

Nah, it can’t be.  Can it?

Truth be told, Theo Epstein and the Boston Red Sox find themselves in a healthy predicament.  Boston potentially has seven quality starters (I cringe to use quality in regards to Dice-K) that could be used in their five-man rotation.  Terry Francona has his five starters now with Beckett, Lester, Dice-K, Wakefield, and Penny, with the possible additions of Smoltz and Buchholz.  Most teams in the league would love to have three of these seven pitchers to set up their rotation, luckily for the Sox, they have all seven.

For the time being.

There are many options, courses of action, and possibilities that linger with this situation. One thing is for certain, however, and it’s that John Smoltz will be a starting pitcher for Boston.  The Red Sox signed Smoltz for the postseason but the veteran wants to get his feet wet before September and October, and all signs indicate that Smoltz is ready to pitch. Terry Francona is set to address the pitching situation tomorrow, so Sox fans have one more day to speculate on the decided course of action.

Some possible solutions go as follows:

1) The Sox trade Brad Penny in hopes of inserting Smoltz into the rotation while also solving a need at shortstop or DH.  

2) The Sox relegate Daisuke Matsuzaka to the bullpen, minor leagues, or DL in hopes of freeing up a spot in the rotation and solving Dice-K’s woes.

3) The Sox put Tim Wakefield in the bullpen, instead of Dice-K.  This one seems like the most logical but alternatively is the worse.  Wakefield has pitched well all season long and it would make no sense to punish one of your best starters.  Also, the guy would run through a brick wall for the Red Sox, so to ask him to sit in the bullpen for the rest of the season would not only be rude, it could be considered unlawful in the eyes of the baseball gods.

Time will only tell what the Red Sox brass decides to do.  Things could happen as early as today or by July 31st.  If the Sox wait for the latter, it could only help their chances at having the problem fix itself or having other teams become more desperate at acquiring one of their extra pieces.    

Oh what to do, what to do.

Someone Give This Guy A Black Eye

                
Idiot Yankee fan tosses grass seed in Fenway that he says is “Yankee Stadium” grass seed. 

I am not sure how you take grass seed, put it in a package with a Yankees logo on it and call it Yankee Stadium grass seed.  Someone explain that logic to me!

Track this guy down, tie him up, and feed him Fenway Park dirt until he gags.

His name is Ian Ferris and he is from Shelburne VT

Full Story

Beckett Leads Red Sox To Victory

Sox Starter Flirts With No-Hitter Against Tigers

The Boston Red Sox won 10-5 over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday thanks in large part to the arm of Josh Beckett.

Boston’s ace didn’t allow a hit until the seventh inning as Curtis Granderson of the Tigers singled with two outs in the seventh to end Becketts no-hit bid. Beckett went 7 2/3 innings allowing two hits and three runs while striking out nine.

David Ortiz’ two-run double lead the Sox in the eighth inning as Boston scored six runs in the eighth.  Detriot countered with five runs of their own but it wasn’t enough for the Tigers as Beckett notched his sixth win of the season.

J.D. Drew hit his 200th career homer in the top of the first to stake Boston an early 2-0 lead in which they wouldn’t relinquish.  Dontrelle Willis will be on the mound for the Tigers tomorrow as he looks to take down Boston’s most consistent pitcher, Tim Wakefield.

(AP Photo)

Red Sox Shopping For A Shortstop

Could Boston Be Looking To Land A New Shortstop?

All of Red Sox nation knows that the Boston Red Sox have a problem at shortstop.  Julio Lugo and Nick Green are not the answers for the proverbial hole at the shortstop position, so what can Theo Epstein and the Boston Red Sox do before Jed Lowrie returns in a month?

Wheel and deal baby, wheel and deal.

There are many possible options that are known to be on the radar screen of Boston as it’s no secret that the Sox are looking for a shortstop, with the most pressing issue being defense up the middle. Lugo is showing his age and lack of range nowadays and even with a solid bat, he has become a liability.  Although Green is a good story, he just can’t cut it in the big leagues consistently and that’s why he has been a minor league veteran.  So what do the Red Sox exactly have in mind to fill this void?

Oh, there are many possibilities.

Names have been flying around like peanuts at a baseball game.  If you pay too much attention to the rumors, you might get dizzy.  But let’s simplify the rumors and put them in lamest terms.  Theo Epstein has his eyes on Jack Wilson, Jhonny Peralta and old friends Orlando Cabrera and Alex Gonzalez.

Wilson would be a great fit for the Sox both offensively and defensively, but his price tag would be too high as it would take a pitching prospect or two to land the Pirates captain who also will make about $8 million in 2009.  Peralta has been relegated to third base duties for the Cleveland Indians which proves that the Indians don’t think the 27-year-old can cut it at shortstop.  We stop the discussion on him there.  Cabrera is batting a mere .232 and looks older than Edgar Renteria, ouch.  Last and certaintly not least is Alex Gonzalez.  Gonzalez is a defensive guru and is younger than everyone other than Peralta.  He used to play at Fenway Park and the Red Sox loved him, just not enough to keep.  But it’s because his bat wasn’t as good as former shortstops Nomar Garciaparra, Orlando Cabrera and Edgar Renteria.

So with all the names laid out on the table, who would be the best fit in Boston?  Jack Wilson and Alex Gonzalez make the final cut because they both make the most sense. Boston needs solid defense and character at the shortstop position to help solidify the infield.  Adding a Wilson or Gonzalez could help ease the anxious minds of Red Sox fans who cringe every-time a ball is hit to shortstop.

But be careful what you wish for Red Sox fans as a solution at shortstop would likely divert all attention back to David Ortiz, which could spell bad news for the beloved Big Papi.

Youkilis, Lester Lead Sox To Victory Over Jays

Francona’s Lineup Shakeup Propels Sox Past Blue Jays

With left-hander Ricky Romero on the mound for the Blue Jays, Terry Francona decided that Sunday was a perfect day for a lineup shakeup.  With Dustin Pedroia leading the new-look lineup, the Boston Red Sox took the final game of the series 8-2 at the Rogers Centre.  

Pedroia batted leadoff for the Sox as Boston’s second basemen hit a pivotal three-run home run in the fourth inning to give Boston a 4-1 lead.  It was Pedroia’s first home run since Opening Day as Kevin Youkilis added two blasts of his own to give Youkilis his sixth career multi-homer game as the Boston first basemen batted third in the unique Francona lineup.

Jon Lester (4-5) pitched six strong innings, allowing one run and striking out 12 Blue Jays. Justin Masterson pitched the seventh and eighth as Ramon Ramirez finished off Toronto in the ninth.  Jason Bay also went deep for the Sox as the local nine accumulated four home runs on the afternoon.

The Sox avoided a three-game sweep and now find themselves a half-game back of the Yankees for top spot in the AL East.  Boston now heads to Detroit as Daisuke Matsuzaka looks to get back on
track against the Tigers.

(AP Photo)

Varitek’s Homeruns Lead Sox Past Twins

Sox Win Despite Francona & Varitek Ejections

The Boston Red Sox were riding the bat of Jason Varitek and the arm of Josh Beckett on Thursday afternoon as the Sox took the final game of their series with Minnesota by the final of 3-1.

Varitek hit two home runs for the Sox and that’s all the offense Boston would need as Beckett allowed three hits and one run through seven innings as Boston’s ace struck out eight Twins hitters.  Varitek’s two solo blasts give him ten homeruns for the season as the Boston captain hit 13 homers last season.

The Sox captain was also ejected in the seventh inning after arguing a call from home plate umpire Todd Tichenor.  Tichenor then proceeded to eject Terry Francona in the same sequence after tossing Minnesota’s catcher and manager earlier in the game.

Hideki Okajima settled the Sox down in the next inning by pitching a scoreless eighth as Jonathan Papelbon shut the door in the ninth to record his 13th save of the season.

Boston now heads north of the border as the AL leading Sox take on the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday. Boston knuckleballer Tim Wakefield takes the mound as he will square off against Toronto’s Casey.

(AP Photo)

Clay Buchholz Call-Up On The Horizon?

Red Sox Prospect Pitching Well In Minor Leagues

Clay Buchholz was the topic of trade rumors throughout the offseason and was also the topic of discussion in Spring training.  So now with the 2009 Major League Baseball season almost a quarter of the way complete, what does Buchholz’s future look like in 2009?

I don’t think anybody knows.

One thing is for certain, however, as the 24-year-old is tearing it up in Triple-A Pawtucket. The right-hander took a perfect game into the ninth inning on Monday for the PawSox. 

So with the starting rotation struggling for Terry Francona and the local nine, Red Sox nation should look out for a minor league call up for the right-hander as Buchholz could be donning a Sox uniform in the near future.

Red Sox fall short against Twins

One inning changed the game when Justin Morneu hit a 3 run shot to put the Twins up 5-2.

Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 21 games and made a dazzling catch in center.

Lester actually pitched pretty well if you take away the 3 run HR.

Twins do in Sox 5-2

Red Sox Hold On To Win At The Metrodome

Joe Mauer & Twins Cannot Complete The Comeback

Mike Lowell and the Boston Red Sox have won five of their last seven games as Brad Penny and Boston held onto a victory at the Metrodome on Memorial Day by the final score of 6-5.

Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 20 games as Boston pounded Francisco Liriano of the Twins early on to stake a 5-1 lead.  A late surge by Joe Mauer and the Twins wasn’t enough as Boston takes the first game of their series in Minnesota.

Full recap.

(AP Photo)

Ortiz Gets First HR of Season

The Sox brought their bats and Ortiz can sleep easier after an 8-3 victory that included HR’s by Tek (2), Ortiz, Bay, & Lowell.  Not to mention Ellsbury caught 12 fly balls tying a major league record for putouts in a 9 inning game.  Brad Penny was good going 6.2 and letting up 2ER on 9 hits.

Sox Win Completes Boston Sports Trifecta

                                 All Three Boston Sports Team Win On Sunday

Thanks to Jason Bay and David Ortiz, the Boston Red Sox mustered enough offensive firepower to take a lead going into the top of ninth as Jonathan Papelbon escaped a tight jam to preserve the Boston 4-3 victory.

Papelbon struck out the side after the Tampa Bay Rays put base runners on first and third with no outs.  Boston took two out of three from their series at Fenway Park as the win on Sunday completed the Boston sports trifecta.

The Boston Celtics, Bruins, and Red Sox all won on Sunday providing fans of the hub with some sore clicker fingers.  All three teams were playing games simaltanouesly as the Bruins won first, followed by the Celtics, and eventually by Papelbon and the Red Sox.